Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Titles from the 1910s

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1910

Marvellous Melbourne: Queen City of the South documentary – c1910

Spencer believed cinema patrons wanted to see their own people and country. He went on to produce feature films, some with director Raymond Longford.

My South Polar Expedition spoken word – 1910

Sir Ernest Shackleton tells how the loss of a pony affected his attempt to reach the South Pole in 1908.

Opening of the Prahran-Malvern Tramway documentary – 1910

This silent footage by Millard Johnson and William Gibson was made at a time when few people had seen moving pictures let alone a film camera.

Pathe Animated Gazette (Australasian Edition): The First Instalment of Australian Notes newsreel – c1910

Australasian editions of the Pathe Animated Gazette combined local and international news items and screened to cinema audiences from around 1908 until the First World War.

1911

At Footscray a Church is Pulled Down newsreel – 1911

This footage shows the preparations for demolition of a small church in Paisley Street, Footscray. It was screened at the opening of the Grand Picture Theatre in November 1911.

Ballarat Beauty Competition newsreel – 1911

This Pathé newsreel captures the 36 entrants in a local beauty competition held in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens on 9 June 1911.

Footscray 1911 historical – c1911

One of the earliest moving image recordings of Footscray, this footage was screened to locals a week later at the Federal Hall in Nicholson Street.

The Sydney Morning Herald documentary – 1911

One of the first Australian docos to be shot at night with artificial light, this Pathé short shows the newspaper printing process of the Sydney Morning Herald.

A Thriving and Prosperous Suburb: Bird’s Eye View of Footscray documentary – c1911

This informal snapshot of daily life in 1910 is a rare record of working people in early 20th-century Melbourne.

1913

Naming the Federal Capital of Australia historical – 1913

Director Raymond Longford, best known for his silent feature film The Sentimental Bloke (1919), documents the naming of Australia’s capital city, Canberra, in 1913.

The St Kilda Esplanade on Boxing Day historical – c1913

A vivid snapshot of public life on a sunny day at the St Kilda esplanade and foreshore on Boxing Day 1913.

1914

Kiwi Shoe Polish: Shine Sir advertisement – 1914

This cinema advertisement illustrates what employers on the home front faced when their staff enlisted themselves into the war effort.

Society Wedding home movie – c1914

This silent footage of a society wedding, beautifully framed and shot on 35mm nitrate film, is a rare example of a home movie from the 1910s.

St Kilda Esplanade 1914 historical – 1914

This early footage of St Kilda includes the entrance to Luna Park and a jetty at the beach. The last shot, with its geometric form and structure, is like a Seurat painting.

1915

Australasian Gazette – HMAS Brisbane Launched at Cockatoo Island newsreel – 1915

In this 1915 newsreel, the wife of then prime minister Andrew Fisher launches the HMAS Brisbane naval ship from the dockyard of Cockatoo Island.

Australasian Gazette – Patriotic Procession in Aid of the French Red Cross newsreel – 1915

In this 1915 newsreel, people in costume walk, ride horses or ride in horse-drawn carriages on a Melbourne street as part of a parade for the French Red Cross.

Australasian Gazette – Sheep Dog Trial newsreel – 1915

This newsreel segment from 1915 shows a typical Australian showground. A sheepdog trainer and his dog herd three sheep into a pen.

Australasian Gazette – The Last Innings of Victor Trumper newsreel – 1915

In this newsreel, a large group marches in front of the horse-drawn vehicle carrying the casket of Australian cricketer Victor Trumper to a Sydney cemetery.

Cartoons of the Moment – Australia’s Prime Minister Delights the Empire newsreel – c1915

In this edition of Cartoons of the Moment, Harry Julius comments on the war in Europe and Prime Minister Hughes’s policy of restrictions on trade with Germany.

Cartoons of the Moment – Crown Prince of Death newsreel – c1915

This First World War anti-German propaganda cartoon represents fighting countries as animals and employs puns in the titles and accompanying captions.

Cartoons of the Moment – German Dove of Peace newsreel – 1915

These cartoons also occasionally provided social commentary on domestic issues that did not have to do with the First World War, such as the evolution of the skirt.

Cartoons of the Moment – Miss Australasia newsreel – c1915

Cartoons of the Moment employs cut-out animation, with two-dimensional character shapes photographed using a stop-motion technique.

Cartoons of the Moment – The Berlin Lokal Anzeiger newsreel – 1915

To emphasise the topicality of his work, political cartoonist Harry Julius is seen reading a newspaper at his desk before he begins sketching his latest cartoon.

Cartoons of the Moment – The Economy in Germany newsreel – c1915

Julius’s propaganda cartoons satirise the qualities of a country and its people by associating characters with specific symbols, items of clothing and facial features.

Cartoons of the Moment – The War Zoo newsreel – c1915

Cartoonist Harry Julius used animals to represent the various countries involved in the First World War, creating easily identifiable – and satirical – character stereotypes.

Empire Day Pageant historical – c1915

This is a silent actuality fragment from around 1915 and shows people celebrating 'Empire Day’ in full costume, apparently in a small country town. The estimated date of the footage comes from the stock dates marked on the film fragments – one method used to date audiovisual material held at the National Film and Sound Archive.

The Hero of the Dardanelles feature film – 1915

Hero is the first surviving feature film depiction of Australian troops of the First World War and includes images of a real army camp and real soldiers, in training at Liverpool, NSW.

With the Dardanelles Expedition historical – c1915

The only known moving images of the 1915 campaign at Gallipoli, shot mostly by English war correspondent Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett.

WWI Troops Embarkation and Charity Bazaars, Sydney historical – c1915

This silent footage shows newly recruited troops embarking for service; life on board the ships for troops heading overseas; and the fundraising activities of the Red Cross to aid in the war effort.

1916

Anzac Day Promotional advertisement – c1916

This advertisement encourages Australians to commemorate Anzac Day. The Gallipoli campaign was fought from 25 April 1915 and first commemorated in 1916.

Australian Labor Government 1916 Conscription Referendum Campaign: Referendum Bullets newsreel – 1916

This silent cinema short, presented by Prime Minister Billy Hughes, promotes the 'Yes’ vote for the 1916 conscription referendum.

Australia Prepared documentary – c1916

A recruiting film highlighting Australian wartime contributions, including shipbuilding and the manufacture of weapons and uniforms.

Cartoons of the Moment – Today the German Monster Threatens the World newsreel – c1916

This powerful piece of anti-German propaganda was a recruitment tool to persuade Australian men of fighting age that their help was urgently needed in the war effort.

For the Honour of Australia feature film – 1916

War melodrama about two brothers in 1915: one joins the navy, the other discovers a German spy ring in Australia and is saved after the Sydney batters the Emden.

The Landing of the Australian Troops in Egypt historical – c1916

A short commercial recording dramatising the Australian troops arriving in Egypt, before Gallipoli.

Les Darcy’s Last Fight: Les Darcy vs George Chip historical – 1916

One of Australia’s best ever boxers, Les Darcy, takes on American middleweight George Chip at the Sydney Stadium.

Les Darcy vs Dave Smith for the Championship of Australia historical – 1916

Boxing great Les Darcy trains with, and later fights, Dave Smith, his former mentor.

The Official Film of the Mawson Antarctic Expedition documentary – c1916

Home of the Blizzard documents part of the treacherous 600-mile 1911–1914 expedition to the Magnetic South Pole led by Sir Douglas Mawson.

1917

Across the Trans-continental Railway: From Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta documentary – c1917

The construction of the trans-continental railway began in 1912 with work being carried out at both ends simultaneously.

Australasian Gazette – First Shipment of Red Cross Supplies to Egypt newsreel – c1917

In this newsreel, workers at Federal Government House, Melbourne, load boxes of Red Cross supplies onto horse-drawn vehicles. The supplies are to aid soldiers in Egypt.

Australasian Gazette – Goodbye Sunny New South Wales newsreel – c1917

This newsreel footage from 1917 encourages young men to enlist for the First World War. It shows a public parade for soldiers travelling overseas to fight.

Australasian Gazette – Mimic Warfare newsreel – 1917

In this 1917 newsreel, troops from the Engineers’ Depot rehearse a raid on enemy trenches and are instructed by their commanding officers over the telephone.

Australasian Gazette – Returned Anzacs newsreel – c1917

This newsreel likely dates from the latter half of the First World War and shows returned Anzac soldiers marching through Melbourne as part of the ‘Fill-the-Gap’ recruitment drive.

Australasian Gazette – The Strike Spreads newsreel – c1917

In this Australasian Gazette newsreel, waterside workers unload perishables from a ship. This footage may be from the the New South Wales General Strike of 1917.

The Australians at Messines historical – 1917

Silent footage by Herbert Baldwin, Australia’s first official war photographer, of the Battle of Messines in Belgium, June 1917.

Bapaume to Bullecourt historical – 1917

Silent footage of Australian soldiers entering Bapaume, in March 1917, pursuing German troops as they withdraw to the Hindenburg Line.

Chez les Sauvages Australiens historical – 1917

An engaging and respectful insight into Aboriginal people’s culture and their interaction with the filmmaking process, made in 1917.

Fighting in Flanders documentary – 1917

Silent footage of Australian troops in the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), fighting near the Menin Road in Belgium, in September 1917.

Novel Method of Advertising Peace Bonds: The Lion and the Kangaroo newsreel – c1917

In this newsreel item of a Melbourne parade, advertisements for peace bonds feature on the lion and kangaroo cages belonging to the Colleano and Sole Brothers Circus.

With the Australians in France 1916 documentary – c1917

A silent film of Australian and New Zealand soldiers on the Western Front in France, between June and September 1916, much of it around Pozières.

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